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John McGreal leaves Swindon after one month
at 14:33 25 Jun 2021

FORMER Colchester United head coach John McGreal has left his role as manager of Swindon Town after a month in the role.

McGreal, along with former U's goalkeeper coach Rene Gilmartin who was assistant manager with the Robins, have agreed to mutually terminate their contracts with the League Two club.

In a joint statement, they said: “This is a decision we both have made, as we feel we are not able to carry out our duties as Manager and Assistant Manager.

"Our intention from day one was to build a football team to compete in this league, but unfortunately due to the current circumstances the club is facing, we do not feel we are able to do that."

Sad news, clearly the problems at the County Ground are of Everest proportions.

Up the U's
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Carlisle United opener
at 09:05 24 Jun 2021

Brunton Park on opening day

and we finish at Victoria Park

Up the U's
[Post edited 24 Jun 9:13]
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Papa Johns
at 15:31 23 Jun 2021

The U's will face Ipswich and Gillingham plus a Premier league U21 side to be named tomorrow.

Up the U's

The opportunity for a reunion early in the season.
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George Moncur
at 21:06 28 May 2021

Released by Luton.

But would he return to us.

Up the former U's
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Oh Mr Porter!
at 17:31 28 May 2021

Chris Porter at 37 has just been offered another season with the Railwaymen.

In four seasons he has scored 48 goals for them in league One.

Up the former U's
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Sammie Szmodics - International for Ireland
at 17:28 28 May 2021

It’s a first international call-up for Szmodics at any level. He is in the Ireland squad for friendlies against Andorra and Hungary on June 3 and June 8 respectively.

Szmodics will link up with the Irish squad in a training camp next week. The Hungary game is expected to take place in Spain. Ireland will play the first friendly in Andorra.

Up the former U's
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The shape of League Two 2021/22
at 23:36 24 May 2021

With just two places to be confirmed, the League will look like this:

COL U
FGR
Tranmere*
Salford*
Exeter
Carlisle*
Orient
Crawley
PV*
Stevenage
Bradford*
Mansfield*
Harrogate*
Oldham*
Walsall*
Barrow*
Scunny*
Rochdale*
Northampton
Swindon
Bristol Rovers
Sutton United
Morecambe or Newport
Torquay or Stockport perhaps!

Teams marked with an asterisk denote Away games that i would hope to go to.
Either Morecambe or Stockport could come into the equation!

Doesn't look a strong league surely with the right additions we can challenge to get back to League One!

Up the U's
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Yet another historic date
at 13:14 22 May 2021

In 1998 we won the 3rd Division Play Off Final 1-0 at Wembley against Torquay United with David Gregory netting the only goal from the penalty spot.

The Colchester starting line-up that day was: Emberson, Dunne, Betts, Skelton, Greene, D Gregory, Wilkins, Buckle, Sale, N Gregory, Forbes.

Subs: Lock, Duguid, Abrahams.

Those were the days!

Up the U's
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HM gets the nod
at 15:24 13 May 2021

Colchester United have announced the following:

"Hayden Mullins has been appointed as the new Head Coach at Colchester United

Colchester United are pleased to announce that Hayden Mullins has been appointed as the club's new Head Coach.

Hayden was installed on an interim basis with eight matches of the 20/21 season remaining, and gained twelve points to move the U’s clear of the threat of relegation out of the EFL.

He joined Colchester United at the beginning of the 20/21 campaign as Steve Ball’s number two, before continuing that role under Wayne Brown following Ball’s departure as Head Coach in February."

Good news

I would imagine that PT has left the club.

Up the U's

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RC's latest statement
at 14:27 11 May 2021

From the official site:

Following the final game at the weekend, Chairman Robbie Cowling has issued the following statement:

"This Season:
Phew, that was nerve racking. I’m so pleased that we have avoided the drop and like many of you, I have been following the games of those teams around us in the last few weeks hoping they drop points so that we finish above them. Wishing misfortune on others is such a shameful thing to do so I’m really pleased that we ultimately survived because of what we did and not because of what others failed to do.

Now we are safe, at the expense of Southend and Grimsby, I genuinely hope that those clubs bounce back into the league as soon as possible. It has been a crazy year to be running a football club in League Two where we have been facing the usual jeopardy of relegation out of the league against a backdrop of decision making that affects the livelihoods of our staff, the health and safety of our staff and our fans, (amidst a killer virus), whilst all of the time ensuring that our clubs could pay all of their bills and avoid bankruptcy.

I claimed previously that I would look back on the decisions I took this season regarding how I managed the club’s finances during the pandemic as being either my best as Chairman, if we stayed up, or my worst if we went down. Well, we’ve stayed up and to be honest those choices don’t feel great whereas had we been relegated, they sure would have felt horrendous. I guess it’s because the impact if we had gone down would have been felt immediately but the true value of those decisions may take some time to be appreciated now we’ve survived.

I can’t describe any part of the last four months as fun. Maybe describing it as death by 1,000 cuts would be more accurate. However, what has felt like a very unsuccessful campaign has actually ticked more boxes for me than previous campaigns which may have felt much more successful as we worked our way through those seasons. For example, where we finished eighth a couple of seasons ago, we didn’t get promoted or even reach the Play-Offs and we didn’t have a great cup run or launch the careers of any of our youngsters either. Whereas this season, we may have gone nowhere near challenging for promotion and haven’t advanced through a single round of any cups but we have witnessed some remarkable breakthroughs from our youngsters.

Just some examples are:

- Noah Chilvers didn’t just break into the first team but become a nailed on first teamer with the third most appearances.

- Junior Tchamadeu made eleven appearances of which three were at just sixteen years of age.

- Ryan Clampin went from being a potential professional footballer to a professional footballer with loads of potential.

- Shamal George has staked a real claim to be first choice goalkeeper having kept six clean sheets.

- Brendan Wiredu, who may not have come through the Academy but who was attracted to us because of it, has been a complete revelation and a major factor in keeping us in the league.

I think our young players have been a credit to us and I expect them to have great seasons ahead of them as they build on the experiences they have gained this season under such intense circumstances.

My biggest regret has been the churn of first team coaches during the season. Steve Ball and Wayne Brown are excellent coaches who are Colchester United through and through. They have invested years of hard work into their coaching careers and their opportunities came at a time when everything was stacked against them. I should have set things up better for them so they could have succeeded but as it is, I feel I set them up to fail. It was not intentional of course, but with hindsight it was inevitable. However, they too would have learned a lot from those experiences - I’m determined to keep them both at the club and would not hesitate to give either of them another chance as first team coach in the future.

That leads me on to Hayden Mullins and Paul Tisdale who have been remarkable and have worked brilliantly together. It may have been for just five short weeks but it was eight intense games and they won twelve much needed points. What they have managed to do in a very short period of time is to get an immediate reaction from the players. How much of that was Hayden or Paul I don’t know but they are both strong, calm characters and they worked very well together so I guess it was the combination of the two of them.

Hayden gave up a job at Watford to join us for what has been a difficult season for the club to say the very least. He has remained calm and supportive although there must have been days when he must have wondered what he had let himself in for. Thanks Hayden, I am very grateful.

Paul has a big reputation in the game and I can confirm that it is well deserved. You would expect someone who has managed 750 league games to be knowledgeable and good at what they do but the way he thinks about the game and has used his experiences to evolve his methods is very inspiring. Coming to Colchester United could have been risky for Paul but he was always confident that he could help us and so it proved. Thanks Paul, I am very grateful to you too.

The Stadium:
First of all, I must mention the brilliant work that my staff have been doing at the stadium this season. So much work went into preparing the stadium for fans and although that work wasn’t fully utilised this past season, our current plan is to stick with our seasonal permits and social distancing measure for the 2021/22 season. This seems to be the most sensible approach for the time being at least but more details will follow once we know more ourselves.

The stadium’s part in the vaccination should be something we are all very proud of. Tim and Sean in particular have been working crazy times to facilitate the NHS and I’m sure many of you will have had your jabs at the stadium and been impressed with the process. I know many of those involved are volunteers and they deserve a big thank you from all of us.

I must say a big thanks to David Gregory too, who has been travelling to all of the away games even at the most dangerous of times. His contributions all season have been first class.

Playing Kit:
We will be taking the unusual step of keeping all of our playing kits the same for the forthcoming season. I know many of you have bought the shirts to support the club and then not had a chance to wear them and I won’t lie to you, the club also has loads of unsold shirts too because we have not sold anywhere near the same levels as normal.

Almost Last But Not Least:
Football is like no other business in that everyone seems to have their opinions on how they can do a better job than those that are in charge and I appreciate that the objectives I set for Colchester United are not always aligned to those of every supporter of the club. The same can be said for almost every decision anyone makes within a football club, from how much we spend on players to what we charge for a cup of tea. All of us within the game understand things will go wrong from time to time and that we will get criticism when it does. We are not opposed to criticism and we do not think we are perfect. Quite the opposite.

However, the manner in which an increasing number of supporters choose to voice their opinions and vent their anger when we don’t run the club as perfectly as they think they can has reached unacceptable levels. It’s been known for years that low ability people do not possess the skills needed to recognise their own incompetence but today’s media platforms have given them a platform where they can find others of a similar ilk to reinforce their high opinion of themselves and their contempt for others. This often results in levels of abuse that are totally unacceptable and I will happily ban such individuals from our stadium.

It’s sadly ironic that those getting the most abuse are those that care the most about the club and work the hardest for it.

I would like to think things will improve and I will never need to ban someone from attending the club they love to support, but I don’t hold out a lot of hope that they will. It’s a human trait which is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect and is clearly being amplified by social media. I do however have a favourite speech on the subject of critics, which I would like to share. It was part of Theodore Roosevelt’s Citizenship in a Republic speech which he gave 121 years ago in 1910.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

It could of course be claimed that it’s me that suffers from the Dunning-Kruger effect, whereby I’m incompetent and have too high an opinion of myself. That could of course be right but I do at least put myself in the arena. Although maybe that’s just further proof of how stupid I am.

And Finally:
I hope you can enjoy the additional freedoms in the warmer weather as a result of the brilliant vaccination programme and the sacrifices we all made in lockdown. Thank you once again for supporting the club. I know it’s been a hard season for you too and I do hope we can give you a better one when we return."







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Prenton Park hosts the super U's today in Season Finale
at 12:10 8 May 2021

After last weekend’s deserved victory over Play Off hopefuls Salford City and the 15th Anniversary of that momentous day at Huish Park Yeovil, the Super U’s bow out at Prenton Park against a Tranmere team still needing a single point to guarantee a Play Off berth. Defeat for Keith Hill’s team is not on his agenda and that means that the U’s are in for a tough afternoon, but three wins out of four has given Colchester new belief and I am confident that we can win on the Wirral.

Sadly, once again we cannot attend the game and so iFollow will be our salvation. A pity because they do a great Fanzine, and it is always a good day out on the Wirral.

Of course, it was only March when we drew 2-2 in a game at the JSCS that frankly we should have won and in the end were happy to take a point. Pell and Wiredu were the scorers that day.

Table:

Cheltenham 45 79 Promoted
Cambridge 45 77
Bolton 45 76
Morecambe 45 75
Newport 45 72
Tranmere 45 72
FGR 45 70
Exeter 45 69
Salford 45 68

COL U 45 50
Barrow 45 49
Scunny 45 48
Southend 45 44 Relegated
Grimsby 45 43 Relegated

Selected Matches today

Cambridge v Grimsby (A win for the Mariners could cost Cambridge automatic promotion)
Cheltenham v Walsall (Cheltenham win gives them the Championship)
Crawley v Bolton (Bolton win promotes them automatically)
Exeter v Barrow (Exeter win gives them a chance at the play offs)
Morecambe v Bradford (Morecambe win could give them automatic promotion)
Oldham v FGR (FGR win, and they have a place in the play offs)
Salford v Orient (Salford must win and hope results go their way)
Southend v Newport (Newport need a point to guarantee a play off berth)

HM and PT are unlikely to make many changes. Pell and Harriott are unavailable again for personal reasons.

I would play 4,4,2:

George

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Clampin

Bohui Chilvers Stevenson Wiredu

Folivi Nouble

Subs

Gerken Poku Lapslie Sowunmi Senior Brown Tchamadeu

For the first time in weeks Colchester can play with total ease and confidence knowing that they are safe for another season. Let us hope the team gives the supporters something to remember and win on the Wirral today to give the 53 points that I said we would need to be safe. In the event 48 points was enough but league position will swell the coffers albeit slightly!

We will have finished 25-point shy of a play off position in what has been a shocking season but let us go out on a high. A clean sheet and a solitary goal from improving Josh Bohui to give us a second away win.

Weather today north of the Blue Wall in Durham is shocking with snow and sleet showers but Tranmere will have an incredible 16 degrees Celsius and light rain.

Get Scott Quigley signed up!

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s

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15 years ago today!
at 09:25 6 May 2021

Phil Parkinson's supremos clinched Promotion to the promised land at Huish Park Yeovil. May 6th 2006.

The greatest 0-0 scoreline in our history!

8,785 attendance of which we had about 1,700.

Dean Gerken

John White
Liam Chilvers
Pat (Rio) Baldwin
Greg Halford

Karl Duguid
Neil Danns
Kevin Watson

Scott Vernon
Chris Iwelumo
Jamal Campbell-Ryce

Subs
Kem Izzet
Tony Thorpe
Mark Cousins
Billy Clarke
Garry Richards

Andre Marriner was the ref!

Wessex will the random match selector do this justice this weekend!

Up the U's


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Freddie Sears returning?
at 14:23 4 May 2021

I see that there are increasingly strong rumours that Sears is returning to Colchester after leaving us in January 2015 for the Poorman Road outfit.

He has scored 34 goals in 217 apperances for Ipswich, whilst he scored 36 goals in 109 apperances for the U's. Sears is 5ft 7ins tall and is now 31 years of age.

By contrast I wonder if we would be better with a target man.

Scott Quigley plays for Barrow and has scored 35 goals in 72 appearances for the Cumbrian outfit. At 6ft 4 ins he is certainly a target man. Obviously he would come at a price whereas Sears is likely to be free.

Plenty more fish in the sea.

Up the U's

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Dirty Old Town - Super U's to prevail against the Ammies
at 10:32 1 May 2021

After an incredible game last night which saw Cambridge lose 5-4 at Harrogate, it shows that league Two this season has been the most unpredictable league. After all who would have thought that on Matchday 45 we were still strictly speaking not mathematically safe from the dreaded Relegation.

Yes, our Essex fiends must win both their games and somehow overcome a 12-goal difference and we have to lose both of ours. Unlikely of course but we still need one point to be absolutely certain of survival. Scunny are also in the frame and Southend only have to overcome an 8-goal difference in their case. Also, unlikely.

COLU 44 47 -18
Scunny 44 47 -22
Southend 44 41 -30 Virtually Relegated
Grimsby 44 40 -30 Relegated

So, Relegation is done and dusted. But what about Promotion?

Cheltenham 44 79
Cambridge 45 77
Bolton 44 76
Morecambe 44 72
Tranmere 44 72
Newport 44 69
Salford 44 68
FGR 44 67
Exeter 44 66

Our opponents today and next week are both in the top seven mix.

Fixtures today:

Barrow v Southend
Bradford v Scunny
Bolton v Exeter
FGR v Tranmere
Newport v Cheltenham
Walsall v Morecambe

Exciting stuff!

As far as we are concerned, I want to see Colchester finish the season strongly. Yes, we have had a lousy season, unprecedented after missing out in the Play Offs last year but today is not the time for recriminations, they will come during the summer when we have to persuade many of our better players to stay and to consider better times next year. Build back better as someone once said.

Incredibly in today’s programme I note that nowhere is Paul Tisdale mentioned in the personalities and positions list. His experience has been instrumental in securing the points to avoid the drop and his pairing with Hayden Mullins has been crucial. Why no mention. If HM stays on next season, it is unlikely that the influential PT will be there to support him.

Harry Pell tells it the way it is in his column. Pulling no punches and I hope that HP leads the team next season.

RC plans a full statement once we know the outcome of the season. He writes in today’s programme “With hindsight I could have done things better but as long as we start next season in the EFL on the same zero points as everyone else in our division and we haven’t deferred any payments to anyone then I will regard this season as mission accomplished. Next season could be another uphill battle against COVID-19 restrictions but at least we wont be climbing it with a proverbial piano on our back.”

Quite so!

The programme shows 31 players within the First team bubble. Some will leave but we must be looking to strengthen during the summer. More of this later after the Tranmere game.

So, who do HM and PT line up with today? Hopefully, the fewer changes the better. Brendan Wiredu may miss out through injury. He must be number one or two on the starting XI list next season.

So, what about in a 4,4,2:

George

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Clampin

Chilvers Pell Stevenson Harriott

Folivi Nouble

Subs:

Gerken Sowunmi Lapslie Tchamadeu Bohui Brown Cowan-Hall

Forget about relatively safe. We must be looking to finish strongly. After all, at one stage this season we looked to be competing for a top seven finish ourselves. I predict 3-1 to the Super U’s.

Weather in Colchester today is 12 degrees Celsius and sunny but some rain to come later perhaps as the game is finishing.

Salford are no mugs, however. Under Richie Wellens they won the Papa John’s Trophy and held the trophy for 24 hours! Quickly though Gary Bowyer took over and has guided them to seventh spot at present. Ian Henderson the 36-year-old former doyen of Colchester has scored some vital goals for the Ammies. John Ward described him as a wasp. In a week when Wasps have been given a lot of positive press versus Bees. Why?

So, plenty to look forward to and we should be able to play with an element of freedom today.

One thing is certain at least we know who H is.

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s


[Post edited 1 May 11:09]
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Heck of a game at Harrogate
at 21:07 30 Apr 2021

Now 5-4 against Cambridge
FT
[Post edited 30 Apr 21:09]
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Some people are on the pitch, they think it's all over.......
at 14:10 27 Apr 2021

It is Now!

Colchester may not be playing this evening, but the Relegation issue could well be done and dusted at 2100hrs.

Fixtures:

Newport v Scunny
Bradford v Salford
Cheltenham v Carlisle
Exeter v Grimsby
FGR v Barrow

Table
Top
Cheltenham 43 78 +20
Cambridge 44 77 +22
Bolton 44 76 +7
Morecambe 44 72 +7
Tranmere 44 72 +6
FGR 43 67 +6
Newport 43 66 +10
Salford 43 65 +17
Exeter 43 63 +19
Carlisle 43 61 +8

Bottom
COL U 44 47 -18
Scunny 43 47 -18
Barrow 43 46 -7
Southend 44 41 -30
Grimsby 43 40 -29

Each of the five games tonight affects both the top and bottom of the table.

If Grimsby lose or draw, they are virtually relegated (41 points means they must win both games and overturn GD of -11)
If Grimsby win, they live to fight another day and can still achieve 49 points

If Barrow win or draw the Southend are virtually relegated – GD will essentially relegate them
If Barrow lose then they have the fallback position of playing Southend at Holker Street on Saturday

Southend need to win both remaining games and make up -12 GD to stay up

Carlisle must win to retain hopes of the play offs
Exeter must win to retain hopes of the play offs

FGR must win to retain hopes of the play offs
Newport must win to retain hopes of the play offs

Scunny still need two points to be certain of avoiding relegation

Still all to play for!

I reckon Barrow will get the point they need, and Grimsby will lose or draw.

Southend and Grimsby thus relegated pending overturning up to -12 GD.

Regardless what happens we need to win on Saturday for pride and to finish the season strongly.

The team will have learned their lesson for an insipid second half against Cheltenham when a point was definitely on the cards.

Up the U’s
[Post edited 27 Apr 14:18]
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Colchester to be the driving force at the Jonny Rocks stadium!
at 12:45 24 Apr 2021

After the euphoria of Tuesday evening and even though Phil “Orange” Brown, who actually resembled the Wild Man of Borneo appearance wise, tried to put a dampener on our celebrations, he was simply masking the fact that Southend United deserve to go down.

By contrast we deserve to stay in the Football league. Back to back wins have seen to that but it is the approach by HM and PT that have galvanised the team and given them belief.

The table never lies:
TOP
Cambridge 43 77 +23
Cheltenham 42 75 +19
Bolton 43 73 +6
Morecambe 43 72 +8
Tranmere 43 69 +5
BOTTOM
Walsall 43 49 -8
Scunny 42 47 -17
COL U 43 47 -17
Barrow 42 46 -6
Southend 43 48 -31
Grimsby 42 37 -30

Remaining Fixtures:

Colchester
Cheltenham A
Salford H 1/5
Tranmere A 8/5

Southend
Orient H
Barrow A 1/5
Newport H 8/5

Grimsby
Oldham A
Exeter A 27/4
PV H 1/5
Cambridge A 8/5

Now at Christmas I reckoned that 53 points was needed to stay up. 50 points would now ensure that we are mathematically safe with Southend already doomed and Grimsby only able to muster 49 points even if they won every game.

League Two football next season will ensure that players who were undecided about staying will show some loyalty. We can surely never have such a poor season again and instead should be challenging at the other end of the table.

HM and PT have worked wonders to ensure that those two home games against the Saddlers and the Shrimpers were Home Wins. The team has been playing with more confidence, relishing the more direct approach. It is worthy of note that Harry Pell resembles more of the player that he was before his injury. In those days he was virtually unplayable. Tuesday night apart from scoring a goal his range of passing was back and he shone like a beacon from midfield.

Where HM has been inspired is pairing Michael Folivi with Big Frank. These two complement each other so well and Folivi is quick and nimble, Frank strong and powerful. Can we re-sign him from Plymouth?

Callum “Ainsley” Harriott has put in Michelin three-star performances and cooked up a gastronomic delight for the supporters, who are hungry for more. He is undoubtably the MasterChef of the JSCS.

Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu has developed into a box-to-box midfielder and if only he could get his shooting boots sorted, he would be good to bag 10 goals per season. Charlton have a buy back clause and perhaps are thinking they made a mistake in selling him.

Noah Chilvers remains resolute and continues to keep Ben Stevenson out of the starting line-up.

All this means that the back four of Welch-Hayes Eastman, Smith and Clampin all look more assured and confident especially keeping a valuable clean sheet.

Shamal George (who surely must be the Colchester Number 1 next season), was in the news over a bizarre incident that occurred in March 2019 in Liverpool. He and his brother were assaulted by a character called Ross Gardner (yes, he can be named, it is the public domain) who was convicted of assault charges and sentenced to 18 months in prison, even though he absconded to Spain and is still believed to be in hiding there. For his part George looks assured and confident in goal and deserves his opportunity between the sticks. Dean Gerken would still be involved at the club perhaps more in a coaching capacity and as Number 2.

Regarding the bench warmers – Courtney Senior remains an enigma. After a spell on the sidelines he returned to show better form and more pace, ball retention and tracking back and then just as quickly went back to his old ways and obscurity beckons again.

Jevani Brown is on the cusp of a regular first team place. I want to see more from him now that HM and PT are getting the best out of their charges.

Paris Cowan-Hall looked as though he was back in the fold and then has been dropped again.

Kwame Poku after appearing for the Black Stars has not been able to force his way back into the team. Josh Bohui has simply disappeared from the scene altogether.

At the end of the season, we will surely say goodbye to loanees Josh Doherty and Aramaide Oteh.

Next season we can surely see more of Junior Tchamadeu, Marley Marshall-Miranda, Billy Cracknell, Harvey Sayer and breaking onto the scene Samson Tovide.

So, what about today. Cheltenham are where we should be, challenging for an automatic promotion spot. Led by Michael Duff they are not unbeatable and have already lost 11 league games this season. It says a lot for the openness of the league that Cheltenham apart, the top nine clubs have all lost 12 or 13 games each.

It is ultimately the number of drawn games (17) that have meant our position looked precarious for so long even four of those transformed into wins would have avoided the panic that set in. Looking back on the season there would also be at least four games that we lost but should have drawn and so instead of 16 defeats we would have looked at 12 not dissimilar to the top nine teams. An extra 20 points and we could have been there again challenging for promotion via the play offs. Still survival is the game in town.

In the final analysis we have survived, but it has been a shocking season. Marine, Exeter Away even the Boundary Park mauling when a draw was on the cards with less than 5 minutes to play has shown how fragile we have been. But ultimately all that will be forgotten once we secure those magical 50 points.

HM and PT look to have sorted the midfield and forward line. Two strikers are an absolute must. Big Frank and Folivi look secure in those positions. Jevani Brown could revert to his favoured Number 10 position.

So, the team today:

George

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Clampin

Chilvers Pell Wiredu

Harriott Folivi Nouble

Subs:

Brown Gerken Lapslie Sowunmi Senior Stevenson Cowan-Hall

Playing a consistent team is always favourite. The players rightly celebrated on Tuesday (Scummend would have done the same). I am not a betting man, but I predicted a Colchester win and Demetriou an early bath and frankly I will shed no tears over the Shrimpers demise.

Today is all about another victory perhaps 2-0 to Colchester, it will be tough, but we can do it.

Weather will be 17 degrees Celsius and sunny in Gloucestershire, ideal weather and plenty of water breaks needed.

I have ordered my replica (Southend game) Shirt, Beanie hat and scarf from the recent Colchester merchandise utilising my 39 loyalty points and demand has outstripped supply so more have been ordered by the club. It would be nice to wear those items in August.

It is a pity that we cannot go to the to the final game at Tranmere, but everyone must be patient and hope to return to the grounds at the start of the new season.

RC has been criticised by me over the past few weeks, he can at least take solace in the fact that his austerity measures have worked to a degree and that we should be in a stronger financial position next season.

Enjoy the game today.

50 points tonight would look very good for the League Two table.

Up the U’s


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Shrimpers to be potted by the Super U's at the JSCS
at 13:33 19 Apr 2021

The outpouring of emotion on Saturday night was tangible and full of considerable relief. A vital victory well deserved and so important to our ability to avoid relegation against a Walsall team who are themselves safe from the drop.

HM and PT fashioned a win which was essential to give a vital boost. It will of course count for nothing if we fail to beat our Essex fiends from Southend on Tuesday night. Phil “Orange” Brown has already ratcheted up the pressure by calling the game their most important game in their 115-year history. Of course, this is nonsense, it is only one game and only worth three points, but the difference in victory over unthinkable defeat is crucial for both teams.

A win for Colchester will put a nine-point difference between the two teams (goal difference included makes it ten) and essentially relegate Southend. Any other result is frankly unthinkable.

Despite their victory over Bolton – Grimsby have the most difficult remaining fixtures with Morecambe, Exeter and Cambridge all vying for promotion.

Southend and Grimsby remain favourites to leave the Football League.

Table:

Colchester 42 -19 44
Southend 42 -29 38
Grimsby 41 -27 37

Remaining fixtures:

Colchester:
Southend H (Relegation favourites)
Cheltenham A (Challenging for Automatic Promotion)
Salford H (Challenging for Play Offs)
Tranmere A (Challenging for Play Offs, possible Automatic Promotion)

Southend:
Colchester A (Favourites to avoid Relegation)
Orient H (Flirting with Play Offs)
Barrow A (Almost safe from Relegation)
Newport H (Challenging for Play Offs, possible Automatic Promotion)

Grimsby:
Morecambe H (Challenging for Automatic Promotion)
Oldham A (Safe from Relegation)
Exeter A (Challenging for Play Offs)
PV H (Safe from Relegation – midtable mediocrity)
Cambridge A (Challenging for Automatic Promotion - Possible Champions)

I do agree that it is the most important game ever played between the two teams (Southend have 33 wins, to our 27 with 17 draws) but there is obvious danger in applying so much pressure that the game becomes a negative, dangerous, and potentially explosive affair with at least one red card being issued to an errant player.

Nerves will play a big part at least early on, the psychological aspect that defeat is unthinkable will perhaps spoil the game as a spectacle. However as far as we are concerned it is all about getting three points to effectively condemn Southend to relegation.

It should be remembered notwithstanding our 6-1 victory earlier in the season we have not defeated Southend in the league since 2010. However, that matters not when we take to the field on Tuesday evening. It is all about the 90 minutes in this game.

So, what about our line-up:

An injury to influential player Callum “Ainsley” Harriott could rule him out in which case a replacement is required. I would bring in Ben Stevenson and that would free Wiredu up to make forays further forward.

George

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Clampin

Chilvers Pell Sarpong-Wiredu Stevenson

Nouble Folivi

Subs:

Lapslie Senior Brown Doherty Gerken Cowan-Hall Sowunmi

Phil Brown has White and Halford at his disposal to add some spice to proceedings.
They earned a valuable point at Exeter with following line-up.

Oxley
Bwomono White Hobson Hart
Demetriou Ferguson
Walsh Holmes Hackett-Fairchild
Akinola

Halford was an unused substitute. Demetriou is an excitable player and one who, if there is a red card flourished, could well take the early bath.

Make no mistake a victory for the Super U’s is long overdue against Southend and I believe that we can prevail with a handsome 3-0 win.

The weather tomorrow in Colchester is going to be dry and bright with some cloud and 11 degrees C at kick off.

Forget about the poor performance at Roots Hall at Christmas time. Take the game to Southend, get at them early doors, and do not get involved in the niggly and subversive tactics from their players. We all know what is at stake and we understand the importance of three points. Only one team in Essex.

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s

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Not the U's first rodeo against the Saddlers today!
at 13:43 17 Apr 2021

It will remain to be seen whether the blank Tuesday has improved the U’s chances with key players able to rest after a demanding schedule. Today HM and PT battered, and bruised charges play host to the Saddlers before the mother of all Essex derbies with Southend in town on Tuesday night. Frankly, our survival may well rest on these games.

These notes are being penned whilst the early kick offs are in play owing to the Funeral of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor.

Table as at 1.40pm 17 April: Southend drawing at Exeter, Grimsby winning against Bolton both at Half Time.

Colchester 41 -20 41
Southend 42 -29 38
Grimsby 41 -27 37

Remaining Fixtures for the three Relegation haunted teams after today.

Colchester

Southend H
Cheltenham A
Salford H
Tranmere A

Grimsby

Morecambe H
Oldham A
Exeter A
PV H
Cambridge A

Southend

Colchester A
Orient H
Barrow A
Newport H

The mauling at Oldham ( a ground where we hitherto have enjoyed reasonable results) was humiliating not least because having done the hard work and got the scoreline back to 3-2 we conceded two late goals to worsen our GD and leave the players bereft on the touchline.

Walsall our opponents today have achieved back-to-back victories. Exactly what we must strive for today and Tuesday. They are now safe from the spectre of Relegation and it is a three-way fight between the bottom three clubs for the drop.

The situation on the pitch is dire enough but the recent adverse publicity involving the Chairman has not helped our cause. Without rehearsing old arguments, Employment Tribunals, threats of Administration and Racism allegations have not helped our fight against the drop.

Many on this site have expressed their undying love for the club and I share those sentiments. I have supported the U’s since 1970 (previously supporting non-league Enfield and Chelsea before seeing the light). Almost 51 years later the torch for Colchester United burns as brightly. I am angry though. We are fighting for survival at the worst possible time with relatively little money coming into the club and disunity on and off the pitch. Three managers in the same season, poor signings, a lack of leadership and direction on and off the pitch does not bode well.

We may all purport to support the club in the Isthmian League (for many years I watched Enfield play in the Isthmian League) but the very survival of our club would be at stake if we were relegated.

It is crucial therefore that we secure six points from Walsall and Southend at home. Victories are non-negotiable.

3-1 to the U’s is the prediction this evening.

But what team does the Head and Assistant Coach go with. It is hoped that the full week of rest has galvanised the team and ensured they are ready to fight for survival.

Why not the following in a genuine 4,3,3 formation:

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Clampin

Pell Wiredu Stevenson

Harriott Brown Nouble

Subs:

George Chilvers Sowunmi Folivi Lapslie Senior Cowan-Hall

This is a five-game season, forget about everything that has gone before.

Weather in Colchester at match time 9 degrees Celsius, dry, and sunny.

No need for inspirational speeches. It is all about taking the game to Walsall.

Saddle up for victory.

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s

Forum
Thread
I told 'em Oldham, the first time battery - U's to prevail at flat Boundary Park
at 16:20 9 Apr 2021

It is difficult these days to write solely about the football on the field. Colchester have had a wretched season on the pitch and perhaps an even worse one off. Culminating this week in conspiracy theories, messages, accusations, subsequently withdrawn statements, and assertions that we are not going into administration. RC has also said that he is not leaving the club for the foreseeable.

Now the dictionary considers foreseeable to mean it can be predicted or identified in advance. Foreseeable is the adjective form of the verb foresee, which means to see or know beforehand. Foreseeable is often used in the phrase the foreseeable future, referring to the span of time in the near future about which reasonable assumptions can be made.

What this all means no one knows, but it has caused further instability at the club at a time when we need confidence in our league future.

6 games to play against Oldham A, Walsall H, Southend H, Cheltenham A, Salford H and Tranmere A.

Quite frankly we need to garner points quickly ahead of the last three fixtures. Can we get 9 more points from these 6 games. The answer of course is yes. Our survival still remains in our own hands.

We play Oldham at Boundary Park, a ground where we have a decent recent record, then two home games against Walsall and Southend. Surely, we must be able to take maximum points from at least two of those games. The Southend one simply is a must win at all costs.

Walsall 39 43 -7
Barrow 38 42 -3
COL U 40 41 -17
Southend 40 36 -29
Grimsby 39 34 -27

Oldham already have 48 points and sit in 17th position. They defeated a poor Crawley side 4-1 the other day and I expect that Crawley will roll over at Southend on Saturday therefore we must get something tonight at Oldham against the Latics.

Keith Curle will be relieved to be virtually safe and will know that a defeat tonight is not too costly but after a recent win they will be keen to do well. Do not forget the rumour about a League Two team going into administration is doing the rounds, it could be any of the bottom half teams unless it was deliberately calculated to cause instability at Colchester (which it certainly has done).

I think a 2-0 away win tonight will work wonders for the U’s it will ensure that the gap to Scummend even after they win tomorrow will still be 5 points (6 if you include the GD).

Earlier in the season we allowed a lead to slip twice against the Latics in a pulsating 3-3 draw at the JSCS. Late goals have been costly for us this season as was proven against the Bluebirds the other day.

HM and PT will be looking to improve upon their Easter haul and the team could well look something like this 4,2,3,1:

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Clampin

Wiredu Pell

Senior Brown Harriott

Nouble

Subs:

Lapslie Chilvers Stevenson George Folivi Poku Tchamadeu

Kwame Poku will be back this evening from the Black Stars.

Weather in Oldham will be 5 degrees C at kick off with some sunshine and then cloud but it will be dry again.

This season has been wretched, we are in the brown and pungent and we have the 24th worst Away record in League Two and the 15th worst home record. Oldham have the 22nd worst home record and the 5th best Away record. Statisticians would predict a draw; I am going for a Colchester victory.

We must get away from the trials and tribulations of the events off the pitch and concentrate solely on the football on the pitch. The players need to improve on that appalling Away record. Tonight, is the best chance for a win and to put pressure on our Essex fiends.

Try to enjoy the game.

Up the U’s

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